9 reasons ’09 will be the year of the “YAYcation”

Christopher Elliot, over at Tribune Media Services, reported how 2009 will likely be the year of the “naycation.” While Gadling’s own writer, Tom Johansmeyer, agrees to some extent that this could be the case, I hope we might be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

So, the optimist/devil’s advocate that I am, I present to you 9 reasons this will be the year of the “YAYcation.”

  1. Obama: If The Economist‘s Global Electoral College is any indication of how the world feels about Obama, then it is a logical assumption that Americans can feel more welcome abroad. With Clinton as the new Secretary of State, and Obama’s openness to relations to formerly cold countries such as Cuba, we should explore some uncharted territory.
  2. The economy: The world’s ailing economy appeared to be Elliot’s main argument for the “naycation,” but I beg to differ. If the economy is so bad, then why not invest in an affordable trip abroad? Your money will go farther abroad than staying home and paying for steep electric and phone bills.
  3. No job? Might as well travel: My cousin lost his job at Wachovia a few months ago, is now engaged to his long-time girlfriend, and is planning a year-long globetrot. WHY NOT? Take advantage of your lost job and get lost in the world for a while.
  4. Disappearing wonders of the world: It’s not just global warming that is causing the world’s beloved wonders to disappear. I think some places in this world are becoming too trodden and destroyed by human contact. The Pyramids, Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu are just a few of the places I’ve seen that simply no longer hold the same luster as before. People populate and flood these places on a daily basis, and we need to go there — now — to see them before they are overridden by tourism.
  5. New, great places to explore: There are several new world wonders like the Kremlin in Moscow, Aya Sophia in Istanbul, and the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany that are awesome places. But what about exotic countries like Mongolia, Slovenia, and Morocco? I’m ready to explore, aren’t you?
  6. Independent women travelers: No longer are men the only ones gallivanting around the world. Nowadays, there are more and more females traveling around solo, and women are muchless daunted by traveling abroad and the economy shouldn’t have anything to do with it.
  7. Cheap flight deals: Gadling blogger Kraig Becker summarized some fabulous travel deals for the new year. There are tons of great, cheap flights around the world, and it’s not that hard to find them anymore either.
  8. The world is flat: Thomas Friedman called it when he explained how the world is flat, and I can’t agree with him more. Your friends around the world are easier to contact (by email, text, Skype, or otherwise), making it so much easier to organize a trip to visit them and sleep on their couches. Or, if you’re daring and trusting, you can couch surf with perfect strangers for free.
  9. Virtual travel just won’t cut it: I am a huge fan of vicarious travel, but there comes a time when this kind of thing just doesn’t produce the same effect. Instead of playing Halo 3, for instance, I would much prefer getting out there into the wide open world and seeing the real thing with my own two eyes.